Axial Stretching of Vessels in the Retinal Vascular Plexus With 3D OCT-Angiography

Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2022 Feb 1;11(2):21. doi: 10.1167/tvst.11.2.21.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe and quantify the nonpathological axial stretching in the retinal vascular plexus in three-dimensional (3D) optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) images.

Methods: The 3D vascular network underneath the inner limiting membrane of OCTA volumes was labeled as ground truth (GT) data. To analyze the cross-section area of the vessels the width and depth of the vessels in the GT data were computed and an elliptical quotient was proposed to quantify the axial stretching.

Results: A total of 21 3D OCTA volumes were labeled. It was found that the vessels in 3D OCTA images are stretched in the direction of the A-Scan by a factor of 2.46 ± 1.82 with a median of 2.24. Furthermore, a larger cross-section area leads to higher axial stretching.

Conclusions: The elliptical shape of the cross-section area of the vessel does not match with the expected pathology of the vascular network in the human eye. Therefore a correction of the volume data before a 3D analysis is recommended.

Translational relevance: This work gives a systematic insight to the stretched shape of vessels in 3D OCTA images and is relevant for further clinical research analyzing the 3D vascular network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Retina / diagnostic imaging
  • Retinal Vessels* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence* / methods